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 Christmas Gift - 12/25/10

The Plain-looking Gift

December 25, 2010

This morning, I celebrate the gift that my Father has given to me. A gift that will by many go unopened today. Or there will be many who will give this gift some limited attention but will be quickly drawn away and captivated by other gifts that are much more flashy and appealing on the outside. But this most special gift is rather plain on the outside. In fact, the bible describes it like this:

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:2-3

But this gift, when we fully accept it and lift it up, is truly the most precious gift that we can ever receive or give to others. It is a gift where there is no waste. Everything from the drab exterior wrappings (the scars, punctures, and bruises) is absolutely precious and essential. And the center of the gift is the most precious and beautiful of all. When we receive it, we recognize that with this gift we truly do receive EVERYTHING… everything that was and is and is yet to come. The bible goes on to describe the treasure inside of our gift:

“Surely he has born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

This most special gift gave us life where there was only death; a marvelous light where there was only darkness; a way when there was no way; peace and access to the Father when we were enemies who were cut off.

And most of all, this gift gave us joy unspeakable through the promise of hope for a glorious future. He laid a pattern for all of us in the way that He lived and died… No matter what you are going through today, with this gift you can KNOW WITH CERTAINTY that your Father is working it all out for good.

“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Isaiah 54:11-13

So I solute you, each of you today as we celebrate this ultimate gift. I lift my gift up to each of you and encourage you to do the same. For He said just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness, He too must be lifted up. And if He is, He will draw all men unto Him. When we lift up our incredible gift, we will encourage others to open, receive, and lift up theirs as well.

Merry Christmas

“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.”

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© 2010 Gerald L. Prater

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